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The Rake

Alitan's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,178 posts (1,179 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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I hope that last instance taught you a very valuable lesson.

No Kender. Never. Not negotiable.

As for Sithiss... the reason you would care about that is that your corner of the gaming table is going to be a very lonely, boring place if you don't shape up and play nice. Srsly.

As a GM, I have -- before the game begins -- done everything in my power to set up a fun and engaging game. It is NOT the GM's job to spoon-feed interest into your special, snowflake, psychopathic-loner character's mouth.

[/rant... sorry, button pushed there]

Really, if someone refuses to engage in the game, I let them stew in the corner doing nothing, AND greet their complaints with "Sorry, running a game here, b$!$$ afterwards." Afterwards, I will listen to them complain for about five minutes, and then shut them up and point out that they could have been playing with everybody else...

If they pull up their big-adventurer pants and play nice the next session, I will go out of my way to give them some shiney moments as a reward.

From a secular, purely agnostic point of view: given the number of serious and committed relationships in which I've been... which turned out horribly wrong, and would have resulted in divorces if I'd been able to marry somebody... why on earth would I want to let the lawyers into my lovelife?

Just sayin'.

PS to Jiggy:

Cesti. The plural of cestus is cesti.


"Cestuses." Hmph.

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Evocation is my immediate, don't-have-to-think-it-over, dump school.

Damage is why I have minions >ahem< I mean adventuring companions. :)

While I LIKE many Enchantment spells, it's usually the school I dump after Evocation: too many immune targets, etc., as mentioned above.

And it's a slightly-weighted toss-up (in favor of the former) between Conjuration and Necromancy for my specialty school. If I'm not going to multiclass (which is rare for me) Necromancy gets more attractive.

But the typical wizard is Conjuror, with Enchantment and Evocation as opposition schools.

YMMV, quite obviously...

A note on what people are mistakenly calling "extremist alignments."

The Neutral-component alignments (N/E, L/N, N/G, C/N) are FAR MORE "extremist" than the two-axis-element alignments (L/G, L/E, C/G. C/E).

Disposing of a second-axis component means that a part-neutral alignment has, by comparison, much more dedication to their non-neutral component than does someone with a second-axis position taken.

Chaotic/Good and Chaotic/Evil (for example) are not dedicated to pure chaos; that is the purview of the Chaotic/Neutral character.

Similarly, Lawful/Evil and Chaotic/Evil are tangled up in ethical stances which subtract from their moral directive: the Neutral/Evil character is by far more a paragon of Evil than either of the L/E, C/E characters.

A Neutral-Component alignment means one is more-centered on the non-Neutral component than anyone "splitting" their alignment can be.

Sigh. Fabricate REQUIRES raw materials, it doesn't CREATE them.

A side note: Blighter=/=Evil Druid.

Evil Druids still respect and revere nature, and would have nothing to do with destroying the world.

Blighters? Sure, they're insane enough to make the attempt.

Just sayin'.

As long as we have the current alignment >ahem< "system" in place, the class alignment restrictions ought to stand, imo.

Do I think we should keep alignment as it stands?

No, not really.

Not because it's unworkable in itself, but on account of all the arguments spawned by it. (My group hasn't ever had a problem with the alignment stuff... largely because we're all in agreement about 'what's evil,' 'what's lawful,' etc. Half of us are old grognards from back in the 1E day, so we disposed of the debate years ago.)

But, however ridiculous we may think the alignment system is, it's what we currently have.

There was another alignment thread a while back, in which I offered a solution of sorts. Replace the twin-axis system with simple descriptives:


-- Paladins, obviously, must be heroic. Everybody else grabs whatever stance and sticks to it. Druids tend towards autarchic... and a lot of Rogues.

Requires some spell re-work (the whole "Protection vs." line as well as Detect [x alignment]) but has the advantage of simplicity in determining where individuals fall on the ethical scale.


I agree that getting nifty powers from your discipline and practice (like a Monk) ought to have a Lawful alignment requirement. All the Barbarian PLAYERS I know are chaotic, and I think it plays well to have the class reflect that.

I'd be tempted to make Druids Neutral, period; people seem to think that being Neutral on on axis precludes zealotry on the other, which is a false-to-facts assumption. Having only one non-neutral alignment value means you have NOTHING in between you and absolute dedication to THAT value (be it good, chaotic, evil, lawful). There's nothing balanced about a single-axis placement, inherently. And Druids (imo) ought to be about a balanced existence and perspective...

Anyway... alignment is not an indispensable part of the game; but it's HERE, at least until PF 2.0 (long may it be delayed). The only forum in which that MATTERS is Organized Play: all others may houserule it gone, or changed, or whatever.

Ascalaphus wrote:

Anyway, should newly developed spells be higher level, a "creativity tax"? There are arguments to be made for it;

* A RAW spell represents potentially centuries of fine-tuning; any newly designed spell won't be quite as power-efficient. Maybe in a few centuries it'll drop a level?

* It's a way to ensure balance. If new spells are always higher level, the player can still add new ways of doing things, but they won't outshine the ordinary ways. So a wizard with an Iceball at level 4 won't shift the balance, because it's definitely weaker than an ordinary Fireball.

* It encourages players to only introduce new spells if they're really needed; to deal with some campaign-specific problem for example. But it makes it unattractive to start fiddling just because the player is itchy to create stuff. (Player creativity is good; unlimited player creativity isn't always good.)

It makes 9th level spells impossible; at some point, all spells were "new" spells. Using "it's new, so it's higher-level" means no 9th level spell would ever have been researched/created.

As for your second point, why shouldn't a creative, new spell outshine "the ordinary ways?" Once more, we have an argument favoring the punishment of creativity.

The limitation of player creativity is inherent in GM approval for spell research already. There is no good reason to push a spell above the level in which it would naturally (as determined by the GM) fall. If a proposed spell's proposed level is insufficient, of course the GM should raise it until the level is commensurate with its power.

But making it higher-level "just because?" Once more, this is a shoddy, lazy metric that shouldn't be encouraged.

If a GM doesn't want to deal with spell research, that's his/her decision. But they ought to be honest about that, and rule that way, rather than add discouragements to research.

Umbranus wrote:

I liked the 3.0 option of starting with two level zero classes so you were already multiclassed at start of the game.

With the next levelup you got the full first level in both classes.

Aagh. People actually used that?!

Yes, 1E Clerics had spells up to 7th level.

However, there was NOT a direct, 1:1 correlation between Cleric spell levels and Magic-User spell levels, either. In 1E, Cleric spells, while limited in focus, tended to be more powerful than Magic-User spells of the "same" level.

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Diego Rossi wrote:

If the caster need a divine intervention to raise a dead he is constrained by the need to work with that divine patron.

Right, because having divine magic isn't a matter of divine intervention at all.

You're not getting the Mystery; no, it isn't confined to the scope of a single deity. It draws its power from all deities which share in its ineffable aspect.

Finally, even if a Mystery is entirely god-forsaken, the god/dess of Death is going to have to be dealt with in a raising/resurrection: it is a direct interference with his/her domain.

johnlocke90 wrote:

What if the characters refuse to do the sidequest after being resurrected?

Then they die again, and the Power involved in raising them will never intervene on their behalf again.

ciretose wrote:
I'm more referring to the earlier "GM can immediately adapt a side quest on the fly when someone dies and not throw off that nights game" argument, which would have to be part of implementing a side quest as the solution plan.

I missed that statement.

And I've been advocating a quest that comes up... sometime... in the nebulous future. [I.e., when it's convenient.]

LazarX wrote:
Alitan wrote:

Now, you have brought up points regarding the specific examples posted that might, arguably, justify being a higher level than was originally presented... but being a new spell is not a good reason, in my opinion, in and of itself to raise a spell above its peers' level.

^Edited for emphasis^

But a Negative Energy Fireball IS more powerful than the standard spell, even with the same damage, because practically nothing has resistance to it, and you're drawing directly from the energy planes as opposed to evoking an element.

I'm not arguing that a negative energy fireball is an improvement on the standard fireball. I was objecting to a blanket "it's a new spell, so (despite being essentially comparable to spells of [x] level) it has to be level [x+1]."

A general argument about spell research, not a specific argument about a particular researched spell. Hope that clarifies things.

ciretose wrote:

"Not impossible" and "Standard" aren't the same thing.

Plug and play is great for one offs, not so great for long running games with the same group looking for more than tropes. More than tropes isn't best serves on the fly.

If it's a "long-running game with the same group looking for more than tropes," do you expect me to believe the GM incapable of adapting a quest that is meaningful and "more than tropes" from his/her experience with said group?

Eh, I'm not going to jump through teh Internetz and force you to use the idea. I think owing a favor makes more sense than material expenditures; it works well for me. I'm of the opinion that it isn't unreasonable as an idea for general use; obviously, folks disagree. Go figure.

Diego Rossi wrote:

Maybe you should look the rules about witches and oracles. They aren't constrained in any way by their patrons or mysteries.
There is nothing like a ex-witch or ex-oracle.

End of an adventure includes the end of an adventure path. Sure, you can be playing something that end within a few session, but we are speaking of rules that will work for all campaign. A lot of campaigns have a story with interlocking events where a side quest will break the story.

A AP is a good example of that so I use them, but you can have that situation in a homebrew too.

ciretose wrote:
I am not saying your idea is bad, I am saying I don't see how it could be implemented with any kind of standarization.
Exactly my point, but evidently for Alitan was simpler to avoid addressing it and instead diverting it to something different.

Who said anything about the caster being constrained? I'm talking about the recipient of the spell, not the one doing the casting.

I didn't address standardization mostly because it's a futile endeavor, given the swath of campaigning styles out there.

At some point during a campaign, there will be a break in the action that might otherwise be downtime, into which doing a service to the Power(s) which reversed your death can be fitted.

I will admit that this works best with a sandbox-style game, but it isn't impossible in any format.

@ Diego

If nothing else, oracles have Mysteries, Witches have Patrons: perhaps not as handily anthropomorphic as a god, but (obviously) on a similar scale of power. Or whatever god has Death in its portfolio, regardless of who/what the raising person worships.

As for items -- yeah, I have <0 problem with dishing out a favor owed to the deity of the crafter of the staff (or, again, to the god/dess of Death): you just got back from being dead, quit complaining. [humor there on the end]

And one further note: AM Grognard; end of "adventure"=/=end of "adventure path." Using old terminology, when an adventure was a single module (if purchased) or similar scope of event (if homebrewed).

Finally... and Ciretose, this is food for your thoughts, too: we've been discussing how death ought to have a penalty, and how gold/gems are a bad practice of standard, and how people tend (sorry) to whine about negative levels, constitution drain, etc.

Look at the level of resistance to owing a debt to the Power responsible for one's resurrection. It seems on par with the resistance to these other penalties... which seems (to me) to indicate it's on par with them, as a penalty.

Obviously, YMMV; if you are doing AP instead of homebrew, you may not have time to repay the favor -- dunno, never used an AP.

Anyhow... I still think no deity (or other Power) is going to let a mortal revived from death get off as lightly as a chunk of change.

Jhidurievdrioshka wrote:

Oh i'm definitely not surprised by any reaction on these forums... Overreaction is the modus operandi around here.

Tirade first, rationalise second. Like any good paladin.

So sorry, but "you're punishing people for being creative" is neither a tirade nor an overreaction to a flat "must be level+1 to comparable spells" for spell research.

As stated in your initial post on the subject, that's a shoddy, lazy standard; sans any discussion of the thought behind it, if applied its primary effect -- intended or not -- would be to discourage spell research at all.

Being drunk in a dress onstage doesn't make anybody entertaining... it just makes them drunk in a dress onstage...

As for the side quest thing, it doesn't have to happen immediately (go ahead, finish your current adventure) but I really don't figure gods to allow the raising of mortals from the Vasty Halls of Death without exacting a price... no, not a silly diamond, but an act of some kind in the mortal realm which furthers the goals of the god in question. Eventually.

Jhidurievdrioshka wrote:
I dont punish people for being creative. I say you have to have a foundation off of which to develop new and unusual magics, so the foundation is the spell of the preceding level. Thank you for isolating my motives to the one that you find most offensive though.

The foundation from which to develop new and unusual magic would be a library, a lab, and as many ranks in Knowledge/Arcana for which you qualify, plus time and money spent in research.

It's arbitrary and ridiculous to bump a new spell up a level from comparable magics: was the first Fireball a 4th level spell?

Now, you have brought up points regarding the specific examples posted that might, arguably, justify being a higher level than was originally presented... but being a new spell is not a good reason, in my opinion, in and of itself to raise a spell above its peers' level.

All it does is continually relegate researched spells to be less-effective than their inherent design.

And if you fail to specify your motives, as you did in the post to which I originally replied, don't be surprised when people react to the effect of your policy rather than the intent.

Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

Raising the dead shouldn't hit the wallet directly nor should it impact the raised character's power in any way. it should require a sidequest.

I disagree with the bolded part (completely), but the italicized part makes sense.

Iterative attacks: when your Base Attack Bonus rises, you start getting multiple attacks in a round when you use the Full Attack Action; these are, generally, referred to as 'iterative attacks.' [Example, at 6th level, a Fighter's BAB is "+6/+1," meaning with a Full Attack, you get one attack at +6 on the die and one attack at +1.]

In order to utilize all of your attacks for a high BAB, with thrown weapons, you need the Quick Draw Feat. Or some (magical) method of getting weapons in-hand quickly enough.

I'd let people use Knw/Local with circumstance mods based on how far out of their "known locations" they are, for areas which they haven't explicitly covered by "tagging" a place with a rank. Plus, I'm pretty flexible about city/village/duchy/dungeon/"generic region" allocations.

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Jhidurievdrioshka wrote:

I've always been a firm proponent of custom content going one level higher than anything it could be compared to... If this is doing fireball levels of damage but using a damage descriptor other than fire/lightning/cold/acid/sonic then it's something I'd put more at level 4.

If we're comparing it to acid arrow then level 3 bare minimum...

That's (imo) more than a little ridiculous.

If it balances against a 3rd level spell, it's a 3rd level spell. The ONLY reason to bump it is to punish people for being creative, which sucks.

Just a note: once you hit iterative attacks (at least, once you get a third iterative attack) Quick Draw is a must-have for thrown weapons.

I have to admit I haven't really looked at the archetypes... because the bits I did look at were unappealing: typically, you lose too much with them, imo.

You might find Throw Anything to be useful (for when you run out of weapons, or if you decide to use splash weaponry much).

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Hey, Ciretose; I might have one...

So, this presumes that 20th level is, in fact, a hard cap.

Every time you get raised from the dead/resurrected, you lose the top level you can attain in a single class.

So, the first death loses you the capstone of your class (assuming you were planning a single-classed hero) and requires you to multiclass in order to reach 20th level.

Subsequent deaths continue shaving off the TOP of your single-class level limit, and eventually you do reach a point of diminishing returns, where you cannot usefully gain XP.

I'd say that you can keep the level you're at, if a death would bring your soft cap lower than current level, but no further advancement...

A Wish or a Miracle could lift this penalty...

Eh, I know nobody's gonna like this, but it occurred to me while (Gods alone know why) I continued browsing this thread.

Tacticslion wrote:

Link to the spell.

It's entirely an arcane and rather high level: Paladin's don't have knowledge (arcana), and thus wouldn't likely know about such spell. Thus, it's not likely for them to know they shouldn't smite in-character, unless they've got a wizard that they trust explaining in simple terms why they might not be able to tell (in which case, why isn't the Wizard detecting magic - which can succeed with a will save). And they can make a will save to succeed anyway.


So what I'm saying is: GMs talk to your players, and players talk to your GMs, before hand.

Uh, since when does a 2nd level spell qualify as "high level?"

I do agree that a clear setting-out of campaign style ans expectations beforehand can save a lot of grief.

Irontruth wrote:

Yes, to the 115 y/o man in Japan, everyone is 'newer'.

But it really has no bearing on the overall conversation. Also the implied condescension is just that. I know you're trying not to be, but it still is.

If it has no bearing, your citation of your gaming history is just as pointless.

As for "implied condescension..."

I can't control your inference of anything from my statements. I, however, implied nothing; it was a statement of facts.

Since I wasn't implying any condescension, I wasn't trying not to be condescending. I was trying to avoid irritating you, which is pointless, since you're as prickly as a hedgehog. If you're going to take offense at value-neutral statements of fact because you dislike the facts as they stand, you're going to be offended a lot.

...and, to add to the corner-cases of why Detect Evil is not a Smite-License:

Misdirection. [The spell, not the concept.]

It is improbable but well within the realm of the possible that the shifty-looking guy pinging on Sir Hypothetical's Detect Evil scan is the unfortunate subject of a Misdirection cast by some soaked-in-the-blood-of-innocents malefactor who is hoping for the exact reaction of "Evil=Smite" from Sir Hypothetical, knowing that even without the excess Smite damage that poor Expert 2 merchant will be cut down... putting our Paladinic hero on the bench until he atones, and granting our villain some Paladin-free time to put his Evil Plan into action.

Is this LIKELY? No. But it COULD HAPPEN, and is worth thinking of in the case of Detect Evil NOT being the end-all, be-all of tactical scans...

Irontruth wrote:

I've been playing since 1992, which is roughly 60% of my life. I am not a newer player.

Nor am I arguing for the removal of all serious consequences, or even the removal of death from all games. I think the base game should give better tools for setting the dial of what death means to a campaign.

Not to be argumentative (really not)... but, uh, to folks playing since the 80's (or the 70's), you kinda are. A newer player. I'm explicitly NOT saying that because you're newer, you think [x] about the game. But you are a decade newer to playing than me, and I've been playing for 80% of my life.

Do these statistics mean anything?

While I'll grant you that getting lumped into a category of THOUGHT by virtue of your time-in-grade can be irritating, in a value-neutral definition of terms, to many folks you are a newer player.

LazarX wrote:
Alitan wrote:

Finally, I just like being able to Use Magic Device with Fabrication scrolls to furnish a house or stock a library, etc.
Keep in mind that you do need the raw materials that are going into the final product(s). The spell is fabricate, not conjure furniture from the air. Craft checks also come into play as well. Some of the worse houses ever made are the result of mages using fabricate. :)

Uh, do go back and read the rest of the post you quoted... y'know, where I'm talking about usually having multiple Craft skills?


Ilja wrote:

There are plenty of roleplaying games that has nothing such as raise dead. I think it's a bad idea to enter a random RPG campaign with the attitude that "this is the only character I can play and if it dies then I can't play something else", because in most RPGs, death isn't uncommon and is more or less unfixable.

If you want to play in a game where you won't lose your character, it's a better idea to speak to the DM beforehand.

It's got nothing to do with being videogamey though.

I agree with most of the above... but, yeah, it does have SOMETHING to do with being videogamey. Because of the way that "oops I'm dead... gotta respawn and redo this screen" happens in many (most) video games.

Now, I'm not arguing for/against making it easier to recover from PC death; but skewing it towards "easier" DOES make the game RESEMBLE that video-game functionality.

I tend -- usually playing a Rogue, so skill points to burn -- to have ranks in a Profession (Sailor in seagoing campaigns, Scribe in landbound ones) and at least one Craft, often more than one.

Mind you, I DON'T max ranks in the Profession -- stop at five, which is plenty for verisimilitude -- and Craft/Alchemy is usually the only Craft I max out, barring some oddity (I have an Alchemist with Craft/Weaver, and I'm planning on taking Master Craftsman in order to make some Wondrous Items later on in the campaign, for instance).

Not only does the Craft/Profession thing (a) represent some non-Adventurer training in my Life Before I Became a Murderhobo, but (b) means I have some skills I CAN use to support myself when not adventuring and (c) a disguise as [fill-in-the-profession skill] is REALLY more believable when you have the skill to back it.

Finally, I just like being able to Use Magic Device with Fabrication scrolls to furnish a house or stock a library, etc.

Forlarren wrote:
I have always felt the kill it if it pings evil is a GM problem. They way we always played it is detect evil is asking your deity's opinion. Pinging evil is your god directly telling you that, yes the person you are detecting is better off dead. If your don't want that well as the GM now is the time to speak up (as the paladins God) or forever hold your peace.

Just because your house ruling on Detect Evil works that way doesn't mean that's the way it actually works for the rest of us. Speaking of holding your peace.

GeraintElberion wrote:

That's cool with the right group of players.

With the wrong group they'll sell it to buy magic swords...

And then they find the market on magic swords has run dry, and don't get any more "free" goodies from the GM, or so I see it.


I'm one of those folks (as player and as GM) who thinks the whole WBL idea is a wonky, relatively useless piece of the game. Particularly given the way people seem to be taking a tool for building characters starting at higher-than-first-level and turning it into some kind of holy writ about how much treasure "should" be available to a group.

But that's a different thread, nevermind...

Anyhow, to deal with your questions.

All of these issues depend upon your game, your judgment. Given that you describe the campaign as "high-magic," it isn't beyond the pale that any or all of the above items might end up available.

It sounds to me like you're WANTING to give them some extra, portable storage space... so why not do it, regardless of their level? I mean... OMG, now they're above WBL! Teh Gamez Broked!

Not really, I promise; the game will be just fine. If you're really concerned about what it will do to WBL, just start handing out a little less treasure, and over time the party will fall back into WBL compliance.

In the meantime, letting them have some extradimensional space for their stuff isn't a hideously-game-changing choice. At worst, they'll make fewer trips back to town, and will be able to haul big treasures out of dungeons without multiple trips and/or needing wagon and oxen.

I submit that the earliest level to grant stuff like this to a party is "when you feel like it."

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Liz Courts wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Not convinced Gamer Talk is really the place for RPG Superstar discussion, but what do I know?
The overall topic seemed to need a bigger home than just the RPG Superstar forums.

Nevertheless, it's very confusing for those of us who weren't perusing the Superstar forums to come into a dislocated thread: several of the above posts make >no sense without the context.

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Starbuck_II wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

If Joe Paladin walking down the street and sees that cleric buying a loaf of bread and goes "Pings evil! Slashy time!" and cleaves the cleric in twain, he's just committed murder, not to mention adding himself to the "List of Examples of Lawful Stupid Play".

No, murder is unlawful killing. There is nothing evil or unevil about it.

Paladins smiting aren't fallen unless they stop being lawful alignent because they broke a city's law.

Wow... just... wow.

First, HOW is the above situation NOT a case of unlawful killing?

Second (once more for the cheap seats), go read the alignment section in the CRB; you will find "murder" under the description of "evil" acts.

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:

I will say that in this instance, the problem isn't the Paladin, it's the evil characters, as the basic premise (yes, I'm sure I'm old school and naive) of D&D/Pathfinder and other games in the genre is supposed to be a bunch of good guys running around defeating evil, not a bunch of evil guys running around burning libraries and stealing lunch money.

Wow, exactly wrong: the problem here is NOT the evil characters. It's the player of the deceased Rogue making a freaking PALADIN in a pre-existing party comprised of evil characters... how no-brainer can you get? KNOWING the other party members are evil, you make a character that CANNOT work with the party on anything other than an extremely short-term basis, and will have to be getting Atonements for doing so?



Does a Stilled and Silenced spell still provoke AoO?

And, if a Conjuror scribes a scroll of a Summon Monster spell, does the scroll benefit from the Summoner's Charm duration extension?

That's it. Figured I'd get quicker answers by posting than trying to hunt it up myself; thanks in advance.

mplindustries wrote:

Evil people that are members of a society:
Killing them would be good, but unlawful, as they deserve a trial, etc. Ok, don't kill.

Evil wererat living as a single monster somewhere outside society's boundaries:
Killing it would be good, and no laws apply. Kill it.

Uh, you might have not noticed, but the evil humans were also "outside society's boundaries;" their supposed membership in society is a nonissue.

Likewise, if their location doesn't commute their membership in society, how are you getting to "no laws apply" to the wererat?

It isn't monstering 24/7; MOST of its time will be spent in human form, doing human things: hunting, foraging, cooking, etc. All those day-to-day survival things that PEOPLE DO.

EVEN IF there is no law enforcement in the region, a paladin doesn't "go wild" in a lawless region: they behave AS IF the law were in force. Meaning trials preceeding JUST PUNISHMENT for all. Not, "OK get out of here" for humans and "No, your begging for mercy doesn't matter, you're dead" for a "monster" which is human 90% of the time. Talk about chaotic behavior...

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There is a forum for media discussions, gentlemen; this thread isn't it.

I'll go check it when I'm at my GM's library... but pretty sure Con loss was 1E, in addition to the Resurrection Survival roll.


This whole mess is beginning to smell of table variation/house rule territory... I mean, aside from PFSOP, it really doesn't matter that there is a 5k diamond material component. If you dislike it, change it. Problem solved.

I know, this doesn't address the underlying issue of spell balance within a level.

I prefer the formerly-deceased person to owe either (or both!) the deity whose priest cast the Raise Dead or the God/dess of Death a favor... but that's just me. I suppose it could be argued that the gods trust their servants' judgment when it comes to deciding who stays dead and who gets up, and the diamond is just a fiat cost of doing business. I don't find that particularly satisfying.

YMMV, yet again...

[PS: LOVE Jhereg novels... and they are a model for "raising the dead just takes work," rather than being inherently expensive. Everybody in the thread who hasn't, go read them.]

@ Wind Chime:

"Magic"=/="Gods' Power."

Magic is the little stuff that the Gods let their servants use, that wizards can puzzle out, that sorcerers are tuned to.

Gods' power is not, repeat not, available to mortals... in order to get it, one must ascend.

Which is, really, the best reason to become an adventurer...

I've adopted a modification to Knw/Local: each rank grants applicable awareness for a particular locale. It does work better in a campaign with a lot of travel, rather than one that is centered around one area (though in a case like that, the out-of-the-box Knw/Local would work fine, anyway).

So, by 5th level (assuming you're maxing ranks) you could know
*the port town in which the campaign started
*the nearby Dwarven fortress
*the free port (read "smugglers' haven) on a nearby island
*the capitol city of the duchy (or whatever)
*the mage-school-run university

... and if you have Knw/Local, but are in a strange place, you do better on DCs than somebody with no Knw/Local (highly subjective, yeah, but it's been working OK).

Provided there isn't a particularly odd campaign setting (i.e., one type of monster dominant/consistently appearing -- undead, I'm looking at you) most character types aren't difficult to make some contribution to a group. In my experience.

What is FAR more frustrating to me than a suboptimal build are suboptimal PLAYERS. You know, the ones who can't seem to remember their characters' basic abilities? Or the ones who, for whatever reason, can't seem to get the idea of cooperation with a group, are disruptive, won't pay attention, etc., ad. infin.

Yes, it is possible to build a character that (to my mind) isn't especially playable. But you kind of have to WORK at it; one of the things I've enjoyed about Pathfinder since I started playing it is that the system's basic structure gives relative competence mostly built-in.

A great deal of "optimal" really depends on an individual campaign; a character well-suited to one may not be in another. The best way (imo) to avoid problematic builds is to have clear set-up discussions/guidelines/whathaveyou at the start of a game. And -- if you're the type of player who moans about other people "not pulling their weight" -- maybe at the start of things would be a great time to share your system mastery with less-adept players.

Cursed and Geas'd wrote:

Core Races: Most often a Human, all that versatility and it's rare a human isn't suited for any particular region. Next out of the core races it'd be a tie between Half-Elf and Half-Orc, Truely enjoy them both. In 3rd place would be Dwarves. I tend to fall into a select few personalities when playing dwarves and it can get a bit samey-samey.

I don't ever play Elves, Halflings or Gnomes.

Featured Races in the ARG: Ratfolk, of which so far I seem to be their only fan. Sylphs and Tieflings. Ratfolk are infact the only small race I'd consider for PC and both the race archetypes for them seem interesting to me and worth trying.

Before using Golarion as a campaign setting I was fond of Half-Drow as well.

Scroll back, read carefully. >Hint< Look for my little icon pic. I liked the Ratfolk way back in the thread...


I didn't think you didn't mean what you said, Gauss; but when what you're saying is not in line with the description of the spell under discussion, there's some room for inference about the underpinnings of why you're saying it.

In any case, I do apologize; wasn't meant as more than a nudge-in-the-ribs kind of way, certainly not to give offense.

Likewise, though, I did go on to say that I wouldn't grief you (or anybody) about dragging stuff into the rope trick rather than limiting stuff to the gear-out of creatures heading into it.

Finally, "responding to [a bad habit] in kind" isn't particularly productive. Hairsplitting RAW vs. RAI arguments get tedious quickly. As I'm sure you're aware. Using a ridiculous read of a rule in a debate (no offense meant here -- but I do find heat source (for metalwork, as a particular)=candle a rather ridiculous read) doesn't further the discussion.

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